2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation 2nd Annual Security Training Scholarship
The 2nd Annual Security Training Scholarship course is scheduled to take place once again in Miami in June 2019.
The 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation Scholarship Program provides Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid Training (HEFAT) on a recurring basis to qualified freelance journalists, journalism students, and researchers.
Dates and Location: June 5-7, 2019, in Miami, Florida
The second annual HEFAT course will be held in Miami, Florida, where the 2Lives foundation is based and where Steven and the Sotloff family are from. The course will run from Wednesday June 5 through Friday June 7, 2019, and it will provide training to 20 freelance journalists, current journalism students and recent graduates, and researchers doing high-risk work.
The University of Miami School of Communication is supporting the course through in-kind support by offering university dormitories and dining facilities for the participants along with use of facilities for the first day of training.
GJS is providing the training at the University of Miami and another nearby facility over the three days.
Limited Travel Bursaries Now Available
For the first time this year, ACOS Alliance and Rory Peck Trust are also joining forces with 2Lives Steven Joel Sotloff Memorial Foundation and offering a limited number of travel bursaries for freelance journalists based in North America and Central and South America to attend the upcoming course. Applicants need to take care of their own visa applications.
If you are selected for a spot on the 3-Day course and are based in these regions, you will be given the option to request travel funding from these two organizations, which will then determine funding based on need.
What Have Past Trainees Said?
Trainees who attended the inaugural 2Lives Security Training share their thoughts on the experience below.
“The instructors were people at the top of their game (and with plenty of real world anecdotes and examples to supplement their training), but remained friendly and open.” — Will Worley
“The trainers’ combined experience, genuine concern for students’ well-being and unending patience make GJS an indomitable team. My family thank you, my colleagues thank you and I thank you for teaching me to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” — Kirsten Leah Bitzer
“Being a freelance journalist means we’re often working alone and have to make critical decisions by ourselves. It means so much to me that GJS and the 2Lives Foundation are using their time and resources to train us for some of the toughest situations we can face in the field.” — Taylor Barnes
“Compared to nearly every first aid and journalist training course I have taken in the past, GJS went above and beyond in delivering an experience that replicated the threats and stresses journalists are likely to face in the field.” — Luc Forsyth
About the 3-Day HEFAT—Journalist Security Course
The course will be a 3-Day HEFAT—Journalist Security class. The curriculum will cover: risk assessments & planning; situational awareness; emergency first-aid including vehicle accidents, improvised carries & stretchers; concealment vs. cover; travel security; convoys & checkpoints; kidnapping risk reduction; basic digital hygiene; personal safety against street crime, sexual assault & hostile mobs; unexploded ordnance; active shooter response; combat hazards; interrogations & captivity; and resiliency, tactical breathing & stress management.
Scholarship: 20 Spots for Qualified Freelance Journalists, Students, and Researchers
The 2Lives Scholarship will provide three days of training, ground transportation to and from training on the second and third day, along with lodging and meals from arrival on Tuesday evening, June 4 through Saturday morning, June 8.
Scholarship trainees, however, must cover their own airfare (if coming from outside of South Florida) and ground transportation between the airport and the University of Miami.
How to Apply
The Scholarship is open to qualified freelance journalists, current journalism students and recent graduates, and researchers doing high-risk work. To apply please send:
1. An email of interest to email@example.com with “Steven Sotloff Training Scholarship” written in the subject line. We will then send you instructions to send your application package securely.
2. A completed application including a cover letter, resume, sample stories and contact information for two recommenders, by Friday, April 19, 2019, via the secure channel as instructed.
a. The cover letter may be no more than two pages. In it, the applicant should describe: the kind of reporting, stories, or research the applicant has done to date or intends to do; the reporting or research the applicant expects to do for which a HEFAT course would be recommended; and an indication of how the applicant intends to approach their work safely.
b. Resume should be clear, specific and no more than three pages.
c. The sample stories should involve copies or links to two or three exemplary print, broadcast or online stories, academic papers, or class assignments completed by the applicant.
d. The recommenders should be editors, professors, or colleagues who have worked with the applicant. We would appreciate their name, title, and email address.
About Steven Sotloff
Steven Joel Sotloff was born in 1983 and raised in Miami, Florida by Arthur and Shirley Sotloff. Steven majored in journalism at the University of Central Florida before transferring to the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya’s Raphael Recanati International School in Israel, where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Government, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Steven worked for ABC News affiliates in Israel and Jordan, before cutting his teeth covering the uprisings through the Middle East known as the “Arab Spring.” Reporting from Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Libya and Bahrain and covering stories about subjects including Al-Qaeda, Bashar al-Assad, Benghazi, Ahmad Abu Khattallah, Ansar al-Sharia, and the Alawites, Sotloff reported for outlets including Time, The Jerusalem Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The National Interest, The Media Line, World Affairs, and Foreign Policy. His reports also appeared on CNN and Fox News.
CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux interviewed Sotloff about his ground reporting on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, calling it as “inside look” and excellent piece of journalism.” ABC News later described Steven’s work on the conflict in Syria “as heartfelt reporting about the brutality of the Syrian war.”
On August 4, 2013, after crossing the Syrian border from Turkey, Steven was kidnapped, along with several others, near Aleppo by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant known as ISIS.
Steven was the grandson of Holocaust survivors and sometimes used pseudonyms for his reporting, both for his safety as a Jew and as a journalist. A dual U.S. and Israeli national, he managed to conceal his Jewish faith and Israeli citizenship during his captivity. In September 2013, he feigned a stomach ache so that he could secretly observe the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur. His family, friends, the Israeli government and previous employers also went to great lengths to keep his Jewish faith and Israeli citizenship a secret from ISIS, fearing harm would come to him if this information went public.
During his captivity, Steven managed to smuggle out two letters to his parents, one of which said in part: “Everyone has two lives: the 2nd one begins when you realize you have only one.”
Despite tireless work by his family and government officials for over a year to gain his release, Steven was beheaded by an ISIS militant on September 2, 2014, two weeks after U.S. journalist James Foley was executed in the same manner. Each slaying was videotaped and placed on the Internet. Thousands more people—most of them local civilians—have been brutalized by ISIS in Syria, Iraq and other nations.